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Bruce Dern and Will Forte

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 6.51.08 PMWe have yet to see an Alexander Payne movie we didn’t like, but “Nebraska” held a special place for us, since we were married in Omaha. As it turns out, relatively little of this beautifully austere black-and-white movie actually takes place in the state, but it nonetheless conveys the strange, empty beauty and ugliness of certain parts of fly-over America, where community seems to have died off after many years of health and prosperity. The towns have dwindled with the employment numbers, and what’s left is the land, a few rusty main streets, a few saloons and grocery stores. Bruce Dern gives an extraordinary performance as an irascible old guy who thinks he’s won a million dollars and Will Forte is winning as his befuddled but ultimately loving son. The movie is funny, sad, uniquely American and memorable. And it simply doesn’t feel like a Hollywood product in any way. At it’s conclusion Linda turned to me and said, “Who the hell let him make this movie?!” It’s that good.

Jack Viertel


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